Hyundai will re-enter the affordable coupé market this year with the Veloster, shown for the first time in Europe at the Geneva motor show.
The new car has the unusual layout of a single door on the driver’s side and two conventional doors on the passenger side. Hyundai says this format is the same on both left and right-hand-drive models.
When it arrives in the UK, the Veloster will be “priced between the Renault Mégane Coupé and VW Scirocco”, according to Hyundai sources.
Hyundai insiders describe the car as mixing “the style of a coupé and the practicality of a hatch; we call it a utility coupé”. The styling of the final production version, which is undergoing final testing at Hyundai’s Namyang development centre, is close to the 2007 Veloster concept.
However, it now wears Hyundai’s new corporate nose, conventional rear lights and a hatchback. The interior has been completely rethought, though. It uses the same new centre console design — which combines the climate control and touch screen and is seen in this image — that will make its debut in Hyundai’s i40.
Taking cues from the Audi TT, the styling of the FS cabin is particularly impressive and benefits from notably high-quality materials. Sixty-five per cent of the FS’s body is constructed from very high-strength steels, an unusually high proportion for a mainstream model.
Initially, the Veloster will be available with two different 1.6-litre engines. The more powerful unit is a 138bhp/123lb ft direct injection GDI motor, which comes hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The 130bhp/117lb ft engine uses conventional multi-point injection and is connected to Hyundai’s first dual-clutch transmission. Company engineers expect five to six per cent better economy than would be achieved with a manual ’box.
The Veloster will be offered with a range of upmarket options, including a premium sound system, keyless push-button starting, LED lighting and a panoramic sunroof.